What is Thymoquinone?

Thymoquinone is an active constituent of Nigella Sativa seeds (also called Kalonji). Its benefits are attributed to its medicinal uses as antioxidant, anticancer and antimicrobial agent. It also acts as anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective. So, its use can be beneficial in bacterial infections, diabetes, liver disease, joint inflammation and other health conditions. In the case of cancer, it is useful as cytotoxic and anti-cancer substance, which has no reportable or negligible side effects. Most of the studies found it safe. It can be used as supportive therapy for cancer patients.

Ayurvedic Properties of Thymoquinone

The followings are the possible ayurvedic properties based on source properties (Kalonji):

Rasa (Taste)Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (Main Quality)Laghu (Light), Tikshna (Sharp)
Virya (Potency)Ushna (Hot)
Vipaka (Resultant)Katu (Pungent)
Organs Effect (Primary)Stomach, Lungs, Uterus, Skin
Organs Effect (Secondary)Liver, Kidneys, Hair
ExcretionSkin, Breastmilk and Kidneys

Dosha Karma

IncreasesPitta Dosha
PacifiesVata Dosha
ReducesKapha Dosha
SuitableKapha Body Type and Vata Body Type. and Vata Kapha Disorders.
UnsuitablePitta Body Type and pregnant women
Ama Dosha EffectPrevent and decrease the formation of Ama Dosha.

Thymoquinone Medicinal Properties

Thymoquinone has the following medicinal properties:

  • Antioxidant.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Hepatoprotective.
  • Cytotoxic.
  • Anti-tumor.
  • Anti-cancer. (1)
  • Antimicrobial.
  • Antiparasitic.
  • Hypoglycemic.
  • Antihypertensive.
  • Antiasthmatic. (2)

Thymoquinone Indications

Thymoquinone is therapeutically indicated in the following health conditions:

  • Weight loss.
  • Dyslipidaemia.
  • Tumor and Cancer.
  • Asthma.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Bacterial infections.
  • Liver disease.

Thymoquinone Benefits & Uses

Thymoquinone has similar benefits as discussed in the following articles:

  1. Kalonji Benefits and Uses.
  2. Kalonji Oil Benefits.

Safety Profile

The safety profile for Thymoquinone is not well-established. However, kalonji seeds and its oil are likely safe.

Side Effects of Thymoquinone

Thymoquinone probably cause the following side effects:

  • Stomach upset.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Heartburn.
  • Constipation.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Thymoquinone is LIKELY UNSAFE during pregnancy as it may cause uterine contractions and might lead to miscarriage.

The safety profile is not well-established for its use in during lactation.


  • Pregnancy.
  • Bleeding disorders: Kalonji might increase the risk of bleeding by slowing blood clotting.
  • 15 days before and after surgery.

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